The need to install Barn owl nest boxes in Thessaly became urgent a few years ago because of four main problems that have been identified through the research of our team:
50% reduction of the natural breeding sites for the species (old buildings) in a total of 50 villages that were key rural areas for the population of the Barn owl.
- Annual destruction of agricultural production in Thessaly ranging from €20 million up to €300 million/year.
- Rodents are potential transmitters of at least 60 zoonoses, many of which can cause dangerous effects/symptoms if contracted by humans, and even death. In the new global pandemic context, the need to control rodents’ populations is imperative as it is observed that both Covid-19 (Sars-CoV-2) and the recent monkeypox virus have their major receptors in rodents.
- Rodenticides used in agriculture keep failing to solve the problem in time, endanger the ecosystem, and pose a threat to biodiversity.
Since spring of 2019, 120 nest boxes for Barn owl have been installed in agricultural areas of Thessaly covering approximately 1,500km2 in 100 villages and settlements.
During the last 4 years, the Civil Society Organization "TYTO" has been implementing the pilot Barn Owl Project in Thessaly. Through intensive annual monitoring and recording of parameters, the primary results are very encouraging.
Barn owl in Thessaly adopts the nest boxes we install and reproduces in them. As a result, we enhance the viability of the species and its population, which in turn benefits the rural countryside, the agriculture, the farmers, the ecosystem, biodiversity, and us all.